Responsible for the content: Lena Johansson, Karlskrona kommun. Photo: Lena Johansson unless otherwise stated 

What is “World Heritage”?


The Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972, aiming to preserve and protect valuable places, properties, environments, objects. More than 180 countries have adhered to the Convention.

Sweden did not do so until 1985 but has 14 World Heritage Sites, the first to be inscribed on the list was The Royal Domain of Drottningholm in 1991. 
By signing the Convention the countries take on certain responsibilities. The Convention demands legislation, organization and also education in order to guarantee that the nature and cultural values are protected and preserved. The properties that are to be nominated as World Heritage Sites must be of universal value.
The countries ratifying the Convention also take on the responsibility to inform about the Convention, to respect World Heritage Sites in other countries, and to contribute financially to make preservation possible in countries lacking the economic conditions for this.
In Sweden the National Heritage Board and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency respectively prepare the decisions that the government make, for example regarding new nominations of natural and cultural heritage sites for the World Heritage List.
At this moment Sweden and many other European countries are restrictive when it comes to nominations in their own countries as there is an over-representation of European and Western World Heritage sites. Sweden is represented in UNESCO´s World Heritage Committee from 2007 up to and including 2011. One of Sweden´s visions is to work for the implementation of the committee´s Global Strategy for a credible and balanced World Heritage List.